An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

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Last Gospel, The

" The reading of a gospel passage, typically the prologue to the Gospel of John (1:1-18), at the end of the Latin Mass. The practice dates from medieval times. It originally was said as a private devotion by the priest on returning to the sacristy at the end of the service. It was later read aloud by the priest at the altar. This became general practice with the Missale Romanum of Pius V, published in 1570. The reading of the last gospel was suppressed in 1964 as part of the liturgical reform of Vatican II. The reading of the last gospel has never been a general practice in Anglican worship, although it has been done in some Anglo-catholic parishes.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.